Doctors in Ireland have removed 50 batteries from a woman’s intestines and stomach after she swallowed them in what appears to be a deliberate act of self-harm.
The 66-year-old woman was treated at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin after ingesting an “unknown number” of cylinder batteries, according to a case report, published Thursday (September 15) in the Official Gazette. Irish Medical Journal.
that X ray She revealed a large number of batteries in her stomach, although fortunately none of them seemed to obstruct her digestive system and no batteries showed structural damage.
The treatment team initially took a “conservative” approach, meaning they closely watched the patient to see if and how many batteries would pass through the digestive system on their own.
Over a one-week period, she went through five AA batteries, but X-rays taken over the next three weeks showed that the vast majority of the batteries had failed to continue advancing through her body. By this time, the patient had diffuse abdominal pain.
The woman then underwent a laparotomy, in which surgeons made an incision to access the abdominal cavity. They found that the stomach, tightened by the weight of the batteries, became distended and extended into the area above the pubic bone.
The team then cut a small hole in the stomach and removed 46 batteries from the organ. These included AA and AAA batteries.
Four additional batteries, stuck in the colon, were “milked” into the rectum and expelled through the anus – bringing the total number of ingested batteries to 55.
Then, a final X-ray confirmed that the woman’s digestive system was officially battery-free and she continued her “quiet recovery.”
“To our knowledge, this case represents the largest reported number of batteries ingested at one time,” the doctors said. Wrote in their status report.
The report notes that most battery ingestion cases published in medical journals describe cases in which a child swallowed small button-shaped batteries. “Deliberate ingestion of several large AA batteries as a form of intentional self-harm is an unusual symptom,” the doctors said. mentioned.
In these most common cases of child battery ingestion, batteries can sometimes pass through a child’s body without causing harm. But if they get stuck in the throat, they can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries, according to Benioff Children’s Hospitals at the University of California, San Francisco.
That’s because saliva releases an electrical current into the trapped batteries, which leads to a chemical reaction that burns the esophagus and can lead to severe tissue damage and bleeding.
Ingestion of cylindrical batteries can present the largest of these risks, as well as its own risks Chemical leakage from batteries and gastrointestinal obstruction, Live Science previously reported.
Case report: “The ability of cylindrical batteries to cause acute surgical emergencies should not be underestimated” States.
US residents can call or text 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling 988 or 1-800-273-8255. Lifeline can also be accessed via Online chat.